City: The Northern Beaches, Sydney, Australia
Wellness travel is an amazing way to achieve a wellness and wellbeing hard reset! It is also hugely beneficial to mental, emotional, and spiritual growth. In my wellness focused travels over the years I have learned new ways of thinking, being and living from natives that have helped me to curate and cultivate a life I love.
When it comes to the Northern Beaches of Sydney, I have an extra soft spot in my heart for this place in the world. It happens to be where my husband grew up and where his family still lives. There are 23 beaches on the Northern Beaches that you can visit! Here is a guide to creating an amazing wellness travel experience on the beautiful Northern Beaches of Sydney, Australia.
Beaches to Visit: Narrabeen, Manly, Avalon, Collaroy, Shelly, Curl Curl, Dee Why, Freshwater, Queenscliff, Warriewood, and Palm Beach
Cultivating a wellness experience in the Northern Beaches…
Wake up slowly and wander down to a local boutique coffee shop for one of the best coffee’s you will experience outside of Italy! Note that it is common is AUS to sprinkle chocolate on top of a frothy cappuccino. Take your coffee down to the beach and watch the sun rise (sun rise is spectacular vs. sunset!).
Take a few minutes to meditate (before you drink your coffee) and then sip and walk 1-2 miles as you take in the expansive, pristine beach and warm sea water on your feet. This helps support both your microbiome as well as nervous system with the negative ions from the sea. Pick up rocks and seashells along the way and even a bag full of sand. I love to bring home the energy of a place and make a little arrangement with them in my home. It is a great way to fill your home with both the essence of a place and the memories you have made.
After your walk, head back to your hotel (we love The Sands – https://www.thesandshotel.com.au ) and take a cool shower (ideally showering you from a gorgeous rain shower head) and then step out of the shower to air dry on your balcony. Get dressed in something airy and flowy.
Grab a healthy high-protein smoothie and head out for your days ‘main adventure’… remember not to over plan but see one thing a day and have that activity nicely tucked in-between restorative, slow paced and restful things with a focus on gentle movement, like walking. Whatever adventure you choose, practice the art of being fully present.
Later, stop by a café for a healthy salad, opt for a café that feels peaceful and calm, even better if it has a view (see my food recommendations for a few ideas). Following your lunch, take a walk (yes, this is a theme… walk 1-2 miles after each meal at a slow pace). As you walk, look at all the beautiful trees… take time to notice the difference between indigenous plants and trees there and where you live. Inhale the blooming Jasmine (sweet jasmine is an Australian native jasmine that flowers late winter to summer). Really focus on being present and finding the beauty in all the small things you can experience with your senses, sight, smell, sound, emotions, energy, and touch. Yes, take a moment to stop and connect… touch and smell a flower or a plant!
Head back to your hotel and read on your balcony while you enjoy a cup of indigenous herbal, jasmine, or chamomile tea (don’t forget to stir in some locally sourced pure honey) for an hour or so before heading to a massage, float, or sauna experience.
Float into the evening by enjoying a fresh seafood meal and a walk on the beach to watch the sun set (less epic than sunrise but still worth the experience). Then wander to a local pub or café (ideally an outdoor one) for an evening cocktail or tea and maybe even a game of Jenga… do chat up the locals, they are incredibly friendly! Even ask for recommendations the locals love and great street art that has popped up around town. Go listen to live local musicians or go to sleep early. For a bonus dose of negative ions, sleep with the windows open and fall asleep feeling the ocean air and listening to the gentle crashing of the waves.
Walkability Rating: 8
Known For: Beautiful beaches & slow-paced beach living
Best Time to visit: November – February (Australia’s summer) for those who don’t like the heat, try visiting September – November, also there are less tourists this time of year. However the Northern Beaches are rarely packed, except for Bondi Beach.
Climate & temperature at that time: During the summer months Sydney and the northern beaches are hot and humid. January is their hottest month. You may also experience summer rains.
Key Takeaway to integrate into your life: Slow down, spend time outside. Be present, breathe and enjoy!
Wellness aspects it is great for: Rest, restoration, overcoming chronic stress and achieving relaxation.
Food: Heavily influenced by the UK, the foods tend to be somewhat bland. You can find some very good health-conscious flavorful options if you are intentional. The seafood is fresh and high quality. Known for savory meat pies.
- Sunrise Café (Warriewood) – 122A Narrabeen Park Parade, Warriewood NSW 2102, Australia Phone: +61 2 9997 2515 ***Pop into the gym right next door to see what fitness or yoga classes they are currently offering. The gym has a spectacular view overlooking Warriewood beach.
- Bare Wholefoods (Mona Vale) https://www.barewholefoods.com.au/mona-vale
- Driftwood Café (Narrabeen) – 4/18 Ocean St, Narrabeen NSW 2101, Australia Phone: +61 2 9970 8911 ***You can also rent an RV here for a road trip experience too!
- Mind Cafe (Narrabeen) – 1346 Pittwater Rd – https://www.instagram.com/themindcafeau
- Morrisons (Downtown Sydney) https://morrisons.sydney/menu
Outdoor pubs & beer gardens
- The Newport (Newport) – https://hellomanly.com.au/listing/the-newport/
- The Oaks (Neutral Bay) – https://www.oakshotel.com.au
- Parkhouse (Mona Vale) – https://parkhouse.com.au
Wellness and wellbeing things to do & see:
- Float + Infrared Sauna:
- City Cave in Mona Vale – Website: https://www.citycave.com.au/monavale?f
- Massage: Sujitra Thai Massage in Narrabeen – Website: https://sujitrathaitherapeuticmassage.com.au
- Get a Reading with Fiona: Fiona offers intuitive oracle card and mediumship readings for inspiration, clarity, comfort and healing. Both in-person and online readings are available. Intuitive Medium Fiona ‘The Storyteller of the Soul’ www.intuitivemediumfiona.com Ph: 0491 703 889 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Visit a local bookstore. Have a cup of tea and get lost in a good book. My favorite book store is Berkelouw’s Mona Vale Bookshop http://berkelouw.com.au/stores/mona-vale
Learning From The Locals
While in Australia be sure to learn about the indigenous people and their rich natural medicine and healing traditions. There are many books and museums that you can explore while there.
Herbs & Medicinal:
Be sure to pick up some herbs that are native to Australia. You will find an incredibly different array of medicinal herbs there. And bring home some locally sourced honey! Additionally, it is easy to find high quality New Zealand Manuka honey in the Northern Beaches as well. Karma Rub is a locally sourced form of Magnesium oil that is absolutely my favorite (less prickly on the skin too!). There are many great little wholefoods and organic markets that carry indigenous herbs and aboriginal healing medicinal blends, or Kakadu Plum Co. company offers amazing ones https://kakaduplumco.com
Fitness & Exercise:
- Walk the lake in Narrabeen
- Stand Up Paddle Boarding & Kayaking (rentals for Narrabeen lake – https://www.prokayaks.com.au )
- Swimming (in the ocean or in one of the many ocean pools)
- Waterfall Hike
- Morning & Sunset Beach Walks
*Avoid early morning surfing and swimming in the ocean to decrease shark encounter risks. Also be on the lookout for Blue Bottles (jellyfish that sting!). Additionally, be cautious in the ocean, pools and lakes due to rocks… a pair of water shoes are a great option.
Known for incredibly comfortable fabrics, bamboo and linen are the wellness-shopping items to hunt for! Often you can find Balinese sculptures, statues, furniture, and clothes for good prices. Also a great source for Opals. Steer clear of department stores and opt for small boutiques for amazing prices and beautiful finds.
Favorite spots to shop –
All the boutiques at Mona Vale and Avalon! Here are just a few of my favorites:
- Berkelouw Mona Vale
- Zjoosh – Mona Vale
- Magnolia Home + Table
- Bahama Living http://www.bahamaliving.com.au
- Sheiki (Downtown Sydney) – https://www.sheike.com.au
- That Bali Shop https://thatbalishop.com.au – *Note, the owners are highly invested in giving back in Bali. Check out their website to learn more about all the amazing social impact they are doing to serve the Balinese people.
- Joe Bananas – Local designer of men’s suits (Downtown Sydney) https://www.joebananas.com
- The Beaches Farmers Market (Narrabeen) – https://www.organicfoodmarkets.com.au/phone/market-solo.php?id=61
- Flannery’s Market (health food, natural health products and herbs) – https://flannerys.com.au/store/mona-vale/
Nearby & Semi-Nearby Wellness Adventures:
Sydney Central Business District:
- The Rocks Market (great for art, dining, shopping, and live music) – https://www.therocks.com/whats-on/market-overview
- Sydney Opera House (great for performances) – https://www.sydneyoperahouse.com
- Sydney Harbor Bridge climb https://www.bridgeclimb.com/climbs-prices/whats-on/school-holiday-special-offer?gad_source=1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI1duG0_OjhAMVoC2tBh15bwTOEAAYASAAEgKDVPD_BwE
- Boating around the coast or Scotland Island
- Street Art (can be found all over the CBD and the Northern Beaches)
- Rent an RV and take a road trip up the coast – For rental information: 4/18 Ocean St, Narrabeen NSW 2101, Australia Phone: +61 2 9970 8911
- See a movie in this old theater, the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace Theatre – Website: https://www.orpheum.com.au
- Spirit Gallery: was established in 2002 as a small Aboriginal art and crafts store at the Rocks Centre in the heart of historic Rocks of Sydney Australia. It has since grown to become Sydney’s premier location for Aboriginal arts and crafts with an emphasis on instrument quality didgeridoos.
Definitely worth a side trip…
Byron Bay is absolutely worth a side trip. Just a few hour flight from Sydney, you will find yourself in a lush beach town dripping with wellness vibes. Rent a car and drive up to Crystal Castle for a once in a lifetime experience. The drive itself is stunning, but once inside the Crystal Castle you will experience a healing oasis like no other!
- Crystal Castle: Website: https://www.crystalcastle.com.au Instagram: @crystalcastlebyronbay – A visit to Crystal Castle in Byron Bay will never disappoint! It is absolutely worth the trip. Wander through the stunning Shambhala Gardens and connect with the world’s largest crystals. Meditate, dine, and commune with nature all while rebalancing your energy and clearing negativity. While you are there be sure to bring home a stunning piece of artisan made crystal jewelry or a crystal for your home.